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lyrictenor1 07-10-19 03:21 PM

Cycling in Utah's National Parks: Gravel bike?
I'll be taking a road trip from CA to OH, and will be tent camping along the way. I'm also bringing my gravel bike (fitted currently with 28mm tires, but am considering my 33mm CX tires if they're more appropriate).

I've read a little about road biking in Zion; are there other opportunities for gravel? Same goes for other parks in the state (will probably go to Arches, as well).

That said, should I set up the CX tires tubeless, or just stay with the road tires?

Thanks in advance!

indyfabz 07-12-19 12:42 PM

Originally Posted by lyrictenor1 (Post 21020840)
I've read a little about road biking in Zion; are there other opportunities for gravel? Same goes for other parks in the state (will probably go to Arches, as well).

You can usually find answers to such questions on the official park web site. As for Zion, only one trail is open to bikes:

ooga-booga 07-12-19 01:37 PM

i guess it depends on if you’ll be doing a healthy mix of road and gravel/dirt or a majority of one or the other. the gravel/dirt will get you away from the cars and crowds but give you an excellent opportunity to potentially get lost/stranded depending on how much you’re bringing along on the rides. wouldn’t count on cell reception. also depends on how much time/how many miles you’ll be devoting to riding. crowds will be heaviest in zion and arches. bryce canyon will be busiest closer to the town of bryce and less busy at the rainbow point end. canyonlands and capitol reef will be the least crowded. it will be hot so mornings will be the best time to ride. if you can’t take both sets of tires along with you, i’d take the ‘28s which will handle any pavé but do a judicious job of getting you onto some trails and likely keep you from going too far into the boonies.

what zion lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. there is only joy in cycling the road in zion canyon. it’s shuttle season which means it’s closed to cars (except for those with resos at the hotel in the canyon). the shuttles will not pass you unless you pull over and put a foot down. low traffic and stunningly scenic. about five miles one way. a couple little rises but nothing steep. mostly flattish throughout and you could do a couple of repeats in the canyon. there’s so much to look at and the changing sunlight shifts the highlights that it always looks different.
even if you only make it to one or two of the utah np’s, you’ll have a blast. enjoy!

AZF 07-12-19 01:41 PM

I took my gravel bike to Moab. There is great riding all around -- on the road, Moab/Colorado River MUP, and trails. I have 40mm tires but for the riding I did 33mm would have been fine. Numerous locals warned my wife and I about Arches saying it is too crowded and the road isn't conducive to riding unless you hit it as early as possible. Since we didn't have a lot of time we chose to accept their recommendation and rode elsewhere. Still had a blast.

lyrictenor1 07-16-19 10:28 AM

Thanks for the suggestions! From what both of you say, it sounds like the majority of the riding may be onn paved sections or on light dirt. I guess I could go either way on the 28 vs 33 (just in case I want to do more trail stuff, unless there isn't too much of that). Thanks!

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